Lobster + mayonnaise. What’s there not to love about that combination? So when I heard there was a new (okay by now, not so new) place in town selling delicious toasted buttery rolls stuffed with the meat of a whole lobster, I was sold on the idea.
Thankfully, so was Z, and to celebrate our 2nd year together, we visited Pince & Pints on a Monday evening at 5pm (to beat the insane queues) to try their lobster dishes. I was rather pleased that we were immediately shown to a table.
Being the greedy people we are with rather big appetites – okay fine, just me, we ordered 3 lobster dishes to share.
There was a Christmas special, a baked Lobster Thermidor with Brussels Sprouts and Potato Gratin ($58) so we decided to order that and 2 of their more popular dishes – the Lobster Roll and the Grilled Whole Lobster (both $48).
My favourite was surprisingly the grilled lobster – I usually like anything with cheese, butter or any sort of creamy, rich tasting foods, but I found that this dish really brought out the succulent juiciness and also flavour of the lobster meat. More than the ones that were covered in sauce etc.
The herb butter sauce that came with it was really delicious but not too overpowering, complementing the lobster meat well.
For their popular lobster roll, I can’t really compare it to anything because I think it was my first lobster roll – but I somehow imagined that it would have more flavour.
I liked that it was packed with big delicious chunks of lobster meat in a tasty (but not as quite as rich as I like it to be) sauce. However I felt that the meat was a little bit lacking in natural sweetness as compared to its grilled counterpart. Not entirely sure if it was the lobster or the method of cooking. Z enjoyed this very much though!
I enjoyed the Lobster Thermidor too, as the flesh was moist and plump as well. I did feel the cheese could be a bit creamier and richer in flavour though – perhaps they opted to keep the toppings mild to let the lobster shine. But again, still prefer the grilled one!
The side dishes were done rather beautifully though, the potato gratin was piping hot and creamy and the brussels sprouts were flavoured nicely with the oil and taste of the bacon.
The pomegranate seeds and almonds helped to cut the richness of the dish, lending it a fruity and nutty note.
Service was pretty good – the wait staff were attentive, trying to help us choose wines, topping up our water and explaining the Christmas special dish (that was not on the menu) to us.
A slight inconsistency though was that they told the table next to us why the lobster looks a bit smaller in the thermidor (the claw was de-shelled and the meat baked in) but didn’t tell us this.
We experienced a hiccup while we were there but it was not a really huge issue nor fault of their staff, but they made our drinks (we had a glass of white each) complimentary to make up for it.
That was appreciated, and helped to close off our celebratory dinner on a pleasant note.
Pince and Pints is quite a small place and they don’t take reservations, so if you go at regular dinner time, be prepared to wait. The last time we tried to visit it on a Friday night at 7.30pm, we were told that the waiting time was around 1.5 hours.
I liked the food and the overall ambience (they played what I think was quaint 60s American bar music, with instrumentals not singing) with a strongly wood-based design, but I’m not sure I would go back too often if I had to queue for over an hour!
But if you haven’t been I do think it is worth a try. It is not cheap but you get what you pay for – fresh, whole lobsters.
Happy Holidays everyone! I’m not sure when they are offering the Lobster Thermidor till but will call up to check then update here 🙂
*Update: They are serving the Lobster Thermidor every night for dinner (5pm onwards) until this Saturday, 3 January 2015. Only 20 portions per night!
Pince & Pints Restaurant and Bar
32-33 Duxton Road
Tel: +65 6225 7558
Open Mondays to Fridays from 5pm to 11pm and Saturdays from 12pm to 11pm. Open on Public Holidays. Last order for kitchen is at 10pm.